Anger Tears Your Heart Apart

Study finds hostility may make you more vulnerable to cardiovascular disease

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Don't be hostile to your heart.

High hostility levels may predict heart disease more often than other more commonly recognized risk factors such as cigarette smoking, weight and high cholesterol, says a study in the November issue of Health Psychology.

The American study, which included 774 white men whose average age was 60, examined whether hostility was an independent or contributing factor in the development of CHD.

For three years, researchers assessed the men's hostility levels, blood lipids, fasting insulin, blood pressure, body measurement index, weight-hip ratio, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking and education achievement.

The study found CHD was more common in men with high hostility levels than in men with risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol and drinking.

Specifically, 5.8 per cent (45) of the men with high hostility levels had at least one episode of CHD.

In a prepared statement, the authors say the study shows that hostility is associated with and predicts CHD above and beyond other traditional risk factors.

They suggest hostility may predispose people to CHD through other mechanisms such as cardiac arrhythmia, nervous system imbalances and endocrine-neuroendocrine responses to stress.

More information

Here's where to go to learn more about cardiovascular health.

SOURCE: American Psychological Association, news release, Nov. 17, 2002
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